Will you take the leap?
Hey. Two music producers recently asked me to write vocal hooks to submit to other artists and digital libraries. This is something to celebrate! I remember a vivid experience in the final stages of mixing one of my albums, standing with my friends / producers at the console in the studio, listening back to the recording and thinking that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
And now - a fresh opportunity to expand by writing for others instead of just for myself. When I sat down to write, a lot of resistance came up. Two past experiences came to mind:
- An A&R from a major publishing company asked me to write the vocal topline to a an EDM track. Although I love different genres of electronic dance music, the EDM sound isn't my vibe, and I wrote something that I thought the A&R and producer wanted to hear. In all honesty, what I wrote was a bit corny, but that's also what I thought about the song passed to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The A&R was unnecessarily harsh with me and I felt like I should just give up.
- A Swedish producer reached out to me after hearing some of my music online and paid me to write vocals for an EDM track. Yet again, I couldn't hear in my mind something that was aligned with his vision. He was nice about it, but we stopped collaborating.
Maybe I'll like certain elements of EDM in the future, but what I was given to work with wasn't my vibe. It wasn't true to me, so how could I write something that was in the ballpark of what they were looking for?
In taking an objective perspective, I sought to uncover the truth of the situation. The truth is that I feel I was occupying that headspace of that story of the person who gives up when they're three feet from gold.
The truth is that I have a strong understanding of music under my belt and I just need to devote more time to dig deeper into what makes a song a hit. The goal is not to write a hit song simply for external gratification, but to write a song that stands on its own against the test of time and even without accompanying music. That would feel amazing. Ex: songs by the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Sam Smith, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Buena Vista Social Club, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, etc. It doesn't matter if you like these artists or not; some of their songs are catchy and linger on like ear worms.
The truth is that I feel capable to write for my own releases. I've done well with my songwriting in the past - it's resonated with my audience, I've won awards, and I've been happy in my soul listening to my creations.
My fear of writing for others comes up simply because I've felt codependent on the outcome. I didn't want to fail again, so I didn't want to try again. The truth is that what we all know, but it's harder to put it into practice: try, try again.
I've been spending more time getting out of my own way and going deeper into studying and working on songwriting. I'm trying to remain unattached to the outcome and just write. With quantity comes quality. I can only get better by trying.
Here's a video during the songwriting process for one of the new songs I was working on this week. I submitted it to the producer and he was really friendly and helpful when offering constructive feedback. I edited it a bit and am continuing to try my hand at other songs. It seems like this is on the right track. ;)
Otherwise, I'm preparing for Greece to work with refugees. I leave Sunday.
Understandably, we're not allowed to ask the residents of the Ritsona Refugee Camp any personal information. They can volunteer to tell us what they wish. To get perspective, I read A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea. It's the true story of a Syrian girl, Doaa Al Zamel, and her experience as the war unfolded in Syria, her family's exile to Egypt, and her tragic journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Here's an abridged excerpt.
I also read Exit West, a fictional story of a young Syrian couple fleeing and reestablishing themselves in other parts of the world. I didn't like this book because it was a bit like a fantasy; the couple would go through a portal and then the story would cut to them in a new location with circumstances that weren't grounded in reality.
I guess I just want to know what really is going on, and for this, A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea gives real accounts with detailed descriptions.
In other news, we've reached the GoFundMe goal of $1,000. THANK YOU!!!!!!! From the bottom of my heart, thanks. If you'd like to contribute and haven't done so yet, please do! I'm going out today to buy some leggings for the women there - a request they sent - and I'll also buy things for them in Greece to support the local economy. Your support goes to help this cause.
I'm also offering a summer sale for music lessons to help make this trip happen. 60-minute breakthrough intensives are $97 ($50 savings!) and the package of 12 lessons is $1300 ($200 savings!!) if you buy before July 31. You can use the lessons at anytime - August, September...
Breakthrough Intensive promo code: ILOVETOSING. Click here to purchase! This is a great way to see if it's right for you.
Package of 12 lessons promo code: ILOVEMUSICINMYLIFE. Click here to purchase! When you know, you know.
My YouTube video this week is the title song from my last EP, Grace. The chorus: "Where would I be without you?" Click here to watch it.
Really, where would I be without you?
My challenge to you: what can you shift your perspective around today that will free you to take the leap towards something your heart desires?
Thank you for being awesome, and you da best. The next post will be from Greece!